Feb. 17 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday & Daytona 500 Day if you like auto racing as we do! Looks like some Winter weather finally moving into our area this week. In Southern CT we’ve been pretty lucky so far. Most storms were rain or a mixture. Not much snow (which is fine by me!). Stay safe out there.

This week’s Sunday Sampler is some nice bokeh images of morning dew on grasses. I took these a couple of years ago when I was in Florida teaching at the Spacecoast Birding Festival. These were taken near this Great Blue Heron who was fishing for his breakfast! There were some razor sharp teeth on the alligator gar fish he caught! Taken hand-held with my Canon 70D and Sigma 150-500 at just over 400mm. 800 ISO helped as did Topaz AI Clear!

Organizing Design Assets

A comment and question was posted on last week’s blog about using all of the fabulous resources that are available in the bundles that I mention here. Mainly, how to utilize them, and even more importantly, how to organize and find all of the items! It’s definitely something I’ve been trying to work on.

I’ve started some new files by category for all of the Illustrations-Vector Art. These are mostly items I have downloaded from various web sources. This is what I’ve come up with:

I still have many “Zip” files to open up and save in appropriate folders. I add folders as needed.

My textures folder needs some work! Right now I have a main Textures & Backgrounds folder, then some are by the company purchased from (like Design Cuts, 2 Lil Owls, French Kiss, etc.). Other miscellaneous textures are filed by style (Bokeh, Chalboard, Concrete, Metal, Grain, etc.) like this:

My biggest issue right now is I’m not sure if I want to keep, say, Design Cuts all in that folder, or separate the items into easier-to-find folders! I may keep the original folders and copy items into other folders by subject. It is a hugely time consuming project since I have so many assets and have not kept up with sorting as I purchase more. So if you are in the same boat, you’re not alone! It will be an ongoing project for sure.

Upcoming Event

I’ve been invited to speak at several conferences around the U.S. this year. First up is the CanAm Photo Expo in Buffalo, NY, April 26-28. The event will be held at the Buffalo Grand Hotel, which is completing renovations and will be a beautiful new facility.

They are keeping me very busy that weekend. I will be doing two sessions on “HDR-The Natural Look”, two sessions of “Creativity with Topaz & Textures” plus a Topaz lecture in the Macro Lab on Friday afternoon as well as some hands-on photo ops in the Macro Lab on Sunday morning. Whew!

They have various options for registration – you can check the details on their website at: https://www.canamexpo.com/

I mentioned above about filing your design assets. Here’s another big bundle that you’ll need to file!

From PIXELO, the Mighty Design Bundle, 4900+ Design Resources! Value $2521 if purchased individually, just $39 for the bundle!

What’s included in this bundle?
* 51 font families with 87 unique fonts
* 67 mind-blowing Photoshop actions;
* 19 Photoshop mockups; 9 Photoshop tutorials;
* 500 premium backgrounds;
* 2987 unique vectors; 70 beautiful text styles;
* 512 textures; 681 Photoshop brushes;
* Commercial License;
* Lifetime download access;
* Unlimited and quick response.

Check out the details of all the cool products included HERE on the website.

And from Light Stalking, “Our 113 Most Useful Links for Photographers”

They have a really good list of all kinds of topics. Tutorials, Magazines, eBooks, Software, Buying Gear Online, Social Media sites to follow, and much, much more.

Have a great week!

Feb. 10 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday!

This week’s Sunday Sampler is crumpled paper that has a subtle pattern on it. There’s the original and three versions – one creates a nice background bokeh, one is grungy and one is painterly with a light green color. Enjoy! And remember to share your creations in our Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/texturesturnhohumintoaworkofart/

Don’t Miss Out! Last New England Conference!

May 18-19, 2019
at the
Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center
Southbridge, MA

Join us for the 3rd Creative Photography Conference!
We have EIGHT wonderful speakers
covering a variety of creative topics:

Anne Belmont (Chicago) – Lensbaby Specialist
John Barclay (PA) – “Creativity with Topaz” & “Dream, Believe, Create”
Mark Bowie (MA) – “Envision: The Art of Seeing Creatively” &
“Multiple Exposures for Maximum Landscapes”
Betty Wiley (Cape Cod) – “Get Creative with LR”, “Creative PS” & “Luminar”
Hazel Meredith (CT) – “Textures: Turn Ho-Hum Into a Work of Art” &
“Creating Your Own Textures in PS with Brushes featuring Grut Brushes”
Jane Driscoll (CT) – “iPhoneography + Apps” & “iColorama”
Loretta Paul-Goldin (CT) – “Create Your Own Textures with Alcohol Inks”
Jan Doyle (CT) – “Creative Projects with Your Photos” &
“Get Your Name Out – Free Publicity with YouTube”

ADDED FOR 2019…

Friday – 2 Pre-Conference Hands-On Workshops
Join either John Barclay or myself for an afternoon of hands-on learning. Bring your laptop (or follow along if you prefer) and work along with John (Topaz) or me (Textures). We will provide images so we can work together. These sessions are limited 24 people each. $69 for either session. (You must be registered for the Conference to attend these sessions.)

Friday & Saturday Nights – Optional Dinner Buffet
Southbridge is a small town – why wait somewhere for dinner? Join our speakers and other attendees for an expansive dinner buffet. Sit, relax and chat a while! $20

Special Offer! 

While our Early Bird pricing was the best deal for our Conference – and we did say there would be no further discounts – we added a special code for students and friends of each of our speakers (including me). Save $25 on your registration with the code meredith25. This code expires on March 31st and will be your last chance to save $$ on registration.

GO TO OUR WEBSITE TO SIGN UP!
https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

Workshop Sign-Ups Continue

I still have some spots available for the upcoming new Hands-On Workshops that begin in March on Sunday afternoons. They will be held at a local spot here in Stratford and limited to a maximum of 6 people.

They will feature training on Photoshop, PS Elements, Lightroom, Topaz, Textures and possibly more. There will be PS & Elements sessions for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced levels (each of these is a separate subject/class). Watch for a schedule to be posted in next week’s blog!

And, if you’re not in CT, remember I have online training available as well! We screen share and can work on any subject you wish – Photoshop; Elements; Topaz; layers/masks; whatever you need help with! You can do a couple of hours or if a package of 10 hours. Email me for more info or go to my website to sign up: https://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/tutoring-sessions/

I’m always on the lookout for freebies and great deals to share with my readers. Here’s what I’ve found this week:

The “original” Bundle Company – Design Cuts – has some great things going on! Their new offering is “The Designer’s Textures & Patterns Collection” – value $2436 – for JUST $29! Check it out below:

CLICK HERE to grab this great deal (Expires in 8 days)!

Design Cuts also has some great tutorials on their site like this – “How to Demystify the Photoshop Mixer Brush”. Check the “Learn” tab for lots more!

And if you work with Procreate on an iPad, they also have an all-new section with Procreate products! CLICK HERE!

Note: Some links above contain affiliate links. Thanks!

Have a great week!

New Workshops Announced!

Today I posted six new hands-on workshops to be held here in Stratford, CT.

* Elements Beginner
* Elements Intermediate
* Photoshop Beginner
* Photoshop Intermediate
* Creativity with Topaz
* Textures and Composites

They will be held on Sunday afternoons 1-4:30 pm beginning in March. Each workshop is just $69 per person. LIMIT 6 Students per session!

Bring your laptop and work along with me! Details on each workshop and registration links can be found on the website: https://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/workshops/

New eBook “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum Into a Work of Art – Book 2”

The new book is progressing on time for an April 1st release! Thank you to those who have already pre-ordered their copy!

If you haven’t pre-ordered yet, take advantage of this opportunity to SAVE $5 when ordering the CD or Electronic version of the new book.

Use code PREORDER5 at checkout. Expires midnight 2/15/19 EST.

Head to: https://www.meredithimages.com/product-category/ebooks/ to place your order.

This eBook has lots of useful information for working with textures, overlays, compositing and more. Review blending modes; learn to create your own brushes then create textures of your own; composite several images into one new project; and twelve projects to practice your skills. Included are all of the images, textures, and brushes to complete all of the projects as well as some bonus goodies!

Don’t miss the last Conference in New England!
Join us May 18-19, 2019
at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center in Southbridge, MA,
for the 3rd Creative Photography Conference!

Join me and 7 other creative photographers to learn creative landscapes & multiple exposures; post-processing with PS, LR, Topaz & textures; iPhoneography/Apps; Lens Babies; plus: loaner lenses; shopping with Hunt’s Photo; hands-on photo-ops; lots of door prizes; a goody bag and MUCH more!

JUST ADDED – On Sunday we will have two photo walks with one of fabulous Tamron Tech Reps! Borrow a Tamron lens and do some shooting around the beautiful hotel grounds.

New for 2019 are two options for pre-conference hands-on workshops (John Barclay teaching Topaz and me teaching Textures); and optional Fri. and/or Sat. night buffet dinners.

Visit: https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/ for all the details and to sign up! We’re over half-full already!

Jan. 20 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Winter Sunday from New England! Looks like we’ve lucked out with very little snow – now pouring rain – but the really messy part will be as the temperatures drop today and everything turns to ice! Ugh! Just keep reminding myself only 60 days till Spring!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of rock textures from the caverns of Ruby Falls in Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, TN. Remember, you can always modify the textures by using filters (Gaussian blur or others); Topaz products (Impression, Simplify, etc.), or if you have Smart Photo Editor you can create endless versions. Enjoy!

Today I’ll answer a few more questions from my webinar on Jan. 8th.

This first Q/A actually answers two different questions.

Q1: What is the difference between impression on the left and that of the right?

Q2: Why does my Impression panel (on the left) not show all the groups of presets?

A: Impression on the “right panel” – found under the ADJUSTMENT button – gives you the ability to use Impression the same way, but without all of the presets. You can select the stroke, settings, colors, etc. See screen shot below:

The full Impression plug-in is found on the left panel. Click the Icon at the top left (A) to see all of the plug-ins you have installed. It will look like this:

If you just click on the word Impression (B), you will see ALL of the Impression presets appear. However, if you first click the arrow (C in photo below), you will get the categories of presets like this (answer to Q2):

This question was asked on Facebook. Q: How did you assemble the 4 leaves in Photoshop to be in one image?

The composite I showed during the webinar.

A: This composite was done in Photoshop after the 4 versions of the leaves were created.

STEP 1: First we need to create a new blank file in Photoshop, so we need to know the size of one of the leaf images (6″ wide x 5.387″ high) – we need our new file to be a little more than twice the width and twice the height. So I made the new layer 28″ x 30″ with a white background.

File > New > Set size to 30″ wide, 28″ high, 300 dpi, background white.

Now we will bring in our 4 leaf images. Open all 4 files into Photoshop. We will add them to the blank file just as if we were dragging in a texture. Using the Move Tool, pull down on the tab of the leaf image so that you can see it as well as the blank image (see below). Click anywhere on the leaf image, hold down the mouse button, and “drag” the leaf over the white blank layer.

Once the leaf is over the white background, you can close the actual leaf file as we won’t need it anymore. Now still on the Move Tool, you can move the leaf into the position desired over the white layer, like this:

You will see that the leaf is a separate layer above the background.

Do the same process for the other 3 leaves, so you have this:

Now we’ll create our background. I didn’t want white for the background, so I selected one of my watercolor textures, Tan 3 (from the textures available in the Peacock Studio store on my website). I brought it in the same way we did with the leaves – open the file and drag it into the leaf composite. We want the texture layer above the white background and below the leaves, so you can drag the layer into position in the layers panel (the alternate way is to click on the white background layer before dragging the texture in, then it will automatically be above the white layer).

Hit Control + T to get the “handles” on the texture and drag it to cover the white background.

Now we’ll add the drop shadows to give the image some depth. To add “layer styles” or effects, double-click in the blank area of the top leaf layer (somewhere around the red “X” below:

This will open the Layer Effects Dialog Box. You will want to select “Drop Shadow” by checking the box AND then click on that layer (see red x below) to get the controls for Drop Shadows:

I used settings of Normal for blending mode, black as the color, Opacity 25%, Angle of light 135 degrees, Distance 36, Spread 49, Size 65.

We need to apply these settings to each of the 4 leaf layers. Instead of needing to repeat this process, you can right-click on the layer, select Copy Layer Style, then click on the other 3 layers, right-click and Paste Layer Style!

Your image is now complete. If you wish to trim any excess background to even it out, you can crop.

Always save a file like this as either a TIFF or PSD to retain the layers, then you can save as a jpg if desired.

If you are in the Long Island, NY, area and want to see a fabulous program, plan on attending the presentation by Canon Explorer of Light, Ken Sklute, Feb. 11th 5-9 p.m. in Bellmore, NY. Click here for details. I’ve seen this show and Ken is an amazing photographer and a very entertaining presenter!

If you’d like to add to your brush library, click HERE to go to InspirationFeed.com for TONS of free brush sets!

And for some free textures and PS actions, head over to the CoffeeshopBlog (they also have items for sale).

I have some students on board, but have a few slots available! Contact me for more info if you’d like to learn specific post-processing programs!

Whew, that was a long blog this week! Hope you enjoyed the tutorials!

Jan. 6 – Sunday Sampler

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a joyous New Year! We had some quiet holiday time just the two of us at home. Nice to just relax a while. I made it to midnight on New Year’s Eve, but hubby did not! We got up early on the 31st and did a sunrise shoot with about 20 other photographers at the beach. It was a beautiful morning – great sunrise and not too cold either. Dave left to go off to work and I joined the group for breakfast. Good times!

For today’s Sunday Sampler I took the barn wood image from last week’s Sampler and ran it through some presets in Smart Photo Editor. This is a very cool little program (and inexpensive – just $29.95!). There are THOUSANDS of presets you can apply to your image, mostly contributed by users of the product. So everytime you log in there are new presets that get added to the library! I first saw this software at a seminar that macro photographer, Mike Moats did. He uses it all the time. Check it out at: https://www.smartphotoeditor.com

I’ve had several requests for private tutoring from those outside of my local area. However, I CAN tutor you ONLINE! We’ll use GoToMeeting and we can screen share so I can help you learn new techniques or assist with issues you may be having with software! Call or email me to discuss or if you’d like to review what you want to learn.

My next webinar is this Tuesday, January 8th at 5:00 Eastern time. Click HERE to sign up! I’ll be showing some various creative techniques using Studio, Texture Effects, Impression, and will do a short demo on AI Gigapixel and how I use it to enlarge my images. See you there!

Upcoming Seminars/Workshops

The new year starts a new schedule of seminars at camera clubs and conferences. If you’re in the area, join me at one of the following club seminars:

  • Feb. 13 – Milford Camera Club (CT) – “What’s New in Topaz”
  • March 5 – North Haven Camera Club (CT) – “Advanced Techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • April 1 – Greater Lynn Photographic Society (MA) – “Creativity with Textures”
  • April 12 – Westchester Photographic Society (NY) – “Topaz & Textures”
  • June 20 – Photographic Society of Chattanooga (TN) – “Topaz & Textures in Photoshop & Topaz Studio”

CONFERENCES:

  • April 26-28 – CanAm Photo Expo, Buffalo, NY – https://www.canamexpo.com/
  • And, of course, I will be a speaker at our Creative Photography Conference, Southbridge, MA, May 18-19. Join me and seven other talented speakers for a great weekend of creativity and learning! Details and sign-up on our website HERE.
  • July 26-28 – Southwestern Michigan Council of Camera Clubs Conference, Hope College, Holland, MI. https://www.swmccc.org/. They haven’t posted the 2019 info yet, but you can see what last year’s conference offered!
  • Oct. 19-20 – And speaking of Mike Moats, I’m pleased to say I will be one of the speakers for the 5th Macro Photo Conference, in Cleveland, OH. I was a speaker at the first conference in Seekonk, MA – it will be fun to visit a new location and meet some other speakers that I haven’t worked with before. There are seminars as well as lots of photo ops with all the speakers assisting. The conference is $199 and limited to 100 people. They always sell out early, so don’t delay signing up. Check it out HERE!

With the new year comes photo “challenges” – 365 days; 52 weeks, etc. While I don’t know that I will complete one myself, this article from the Photo Argus has a 52-week challenge with some great ideas and info even if you don’t do it weekly.

Photographing the moon can be tricky. Here’s a great article with helpful info from Light Stalking.

Have a great week!

Nov. 25 – Sunday Sampler

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! We were in Buffalo this week – at Niagara Falls on Thanksgiving Morning at 19 degrees! Wasn’t too bad until we walked out on the observation deck over the river and the wind kicked in – Yikes! Wasn’t out there very long! 

On Friday we went to the Buffalo & Erie Botanical Garden. It was designed as a replica of the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. This was the first day of the poinsettia and model train show. Not quite as elaborate as the NYBG, but pretty nonetheless. 

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some textures from the botanical garden – flower pots and tree bark! Enjoy!

Black Friday, Cyber Monday & other special deals continue!

A recap of the past week’s posts in case you missed them!

Pre-Order my 2nd eBook at 40% off!

In last Sunday’s post I released the pre-order for my 2nd eBook, “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art, Book 2”! Save 40% – reg. price $25, pre-order price $15! Click HERE to go to the Peacock Studio and order! (Extended through 11/30 at midnight EST.)

I also released 3 new texture sets at 25% off. Use the code HOLIDAY2018 to save 25% on any of my texture sets or first eBook. EXTENDED THROUGH 11/30! Click HERE to go to the store.

Topaz Specials

The great Topaz deals END MIDNIGHT CENTRAL TIME MON., NOV. 26TH! Don’t miss out! Click HERE to go to last week’s blog post and all the details!

Think Tank Photo Camera Bags

Deals run till Dec. 2nd. Click HERE to go to last week’s blog post and all the details!

Grut Brushes

Fabulous brushes for digital painting AND for creating textures! Sale expires Monday midnight (UK time). Click HERE to find the details.

Design Cuts

I ordered my deal today! Don’t miss this one! FIFTY fabulous products for just $99! I love, love, love Design Cuts. I’ve gotten lots of great bundles from them – fonts, textures, brushes and much more. Their regular bundles are $29 and a great deal too! But this special Black Friday Bonanza is totally amazing. One product has 150 textures! That alone is worth the $99! Lots of great fonts, more textures, brushes, mock-ups, and more. CLICK HERE!

Layer Cake/Studio Magic – Coming Up!

They are putting the finishing touches on a great deal for my readers! I’ll email as soon as it’s live!

Don’t Miss Out on Early Bird Pricing!

The Early Bird Pricing ends midnight Nov. 30th (EST). Save $61 on registration and reserve your seat for our fabulous line-up of creative speakers. 

Join us on May 18-19, 2019 for the 3rd Creative Photography Conference. Speakers include:

  • John Barclay (Topaz webinar presenter)
  • Anne Belmont (Lensbaby specialist)
  • Mark Bowie (creative landscape photographer)
  • Betty Wiley (creative techniques in Lightroom & Photoshop)
  • Jane Driscoll (iPhoneography/apps)
  • Loretta Paul-Goldin (creating textures with alcohol inks)
  • Jan Doyle (creative products with your photos and using YouTube for free publicity)
  • and ME – (textures!)

We will have multiple events simultaneously and will have the photo-ops room open all weekend (practice flower photography with Lensbaby loaners and your macro skills with many tabletop set-ups). 

NEW FOR 2019:

On Friday there will be two pre-conference sessions. One with John Barclay and one with me. (Additional fee)

Also new this year will be buffet dinners on Friday and Saturday nights. Don’t wait in a restaurant – join us and socialize with other attendees and our speakers! Just $20 per dinner.

And, as always, included is all Sat./Sun. sessions; lunch both days; coffee “and” in the mornings; speaker notes on a flash drive, a goody bag with discounts and other items; and LOTS of door prizes. Hunt’s Photo will also be here again for your shopping pleasure!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

I know I’ve mentioned Canvas on Demand before. I use them for all my canvas prints. I got an email today – good only till tonight – but if you have something ready to print, you can get a 16×20 canvas for just $20!! Code: JXBV60 at checkout. I’m not an affiliate for them – I just think they’re fabulous! https://www.canvasondemand.com/

DEALS FROM PIXELO! Another great “bundle” company. If you like using Photoshop add-ons (plug-ins, layer styles, brushes, swatches and more), then you’ll love this one! 5500 Unique Add-Ons for $29!  

AND until tomorrow night you can save 20% off that great price … go to the top of the page and enter your email and you will get a coupon code to use!

They also have several other bundles available on the site (CLICK HERE)

Stay tuned for more deals this week!

Nov. 4 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday and a warm welcome to all of the new subscribers! Thank you for watching my Topaz webinar this past week. It was fun doing some Halloween-themed images! We had lots of great questions as well. I printed out the chat so I can answer more of the questions here in the Topaz Corner (see below). We try to cover a LOT of information during the webinars – I know for some people it seemed to go too fast – but that’s why they record the webinars so you can go back and watch again!

The “edited” webinar is not posted yet, but you can get to the unedited copy by clicking HERE. And if you haven’t gotten them yet, I have the notes for this webinar for sale in my online store for just $5! This gives you all of the images that I worked on during the webinar, the notes with the settings that I used, AND a bonus set of textures (these textures are not available anywhere else – they will be part of some upcoming sets in the store). Click HERE to go to the web store and then select “Topaz Notes” (the notes for my last webinar are also still available).

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler started with a shot of tree bark that I took on my jaunt this week to Southford Falls State Park in Southford, CT. I then did a couple of variations using AI ReMix in Studio.

The recent rains and pretty fall color made for some nice images:

After editing these leaves, I added a preset in Topaz Studio to give them some added “punch”.

I’ve been totally amazed with the quality of AI Clear. It really makes my images look great! I did mask it off of the water a little so that they wouldn’t be overly sharp.

NEW WEBINAR NOTE!

If you’d like to see some more of “What’s New with Topaz Labs”, I will be doing a webinar tonight at 7:00 pm Eastern Time, for NPEG (the National Photography Enthusiasts Group). They have allowed me to open up registration to you as well! Click HERE to sign up! I’ll be covering Topaz Studio and some of the Pro Adjustments that have been added since the Summer when I did my last webinar for them.

 

So as I mentioned above, I printed the chat log from Tuesday’s webinar so that I could answer questions we couldn’t get to during the presentation. I love reading all the “hello’s” when people log on and seeing where everyone is from (all over the world!).

A couple questions from the first project, the “haunted” house and graffiti overlay.

Q. How did she unlock the ratio?

A. After adding the 2nd image layer, you will see a “Lock Aspect Ratio  Yes  No” under the image – click on NO and you will be able to resize the image without maintaining the original aspect (see screen shot below)

 

Q. Where did she get the clip art? Where did she get the lightning?

A. The graffiti shot I used was from Layer Cake’s “Epic Location Sets” (Urban Chic set) and the lightning was from their Studio Magic plug-in program.

I recently did a webinar for them utilizing these new Location Sets. They are also the makers of Studio Magic, an awesome plug-in to Photoshop (I have done a webinar on this as well). You can save 90% and get Studio Magic, free sky overlays and the 1200 Epic Location Sets for just $125 HERE. Or just the 1200 Location Sets and Skies for $99 HERE.

The other clip art I showed (spider web, pumpkin, ghost), I downloaded from Brusheezy.com. They have TONS of free brushes, clip art and more (also Vecteezy.com for graphics).

Also watch the blog for “Around the Web” links to other great resources.

Q. How do I import textures into Studio?

A. I put together a tutorial sheet on how to do this with screen shots. Click – How to Add Textures to get the pdf file!

Q. How did she get two different textures to apply? When I do that, the second will override the first!

A. Once you have applied your first texture, you need to then click on Adjustment again and select texture to open a 2nd dialogue box and add a 2nd texture without deleting the first one. So you’re pallette will look like this:

 

I will answer some more questions next week!

 

Just a reminder…the Early Bird pricing for our 3rd Creative Photography Conference ends on November 30th!

Join us May 18-19, 2019 at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center in Southbridge, MA, and unleash your creative side!

Our fabulous speakers: John Barclay, Anne Belmont, Mark Bowie, Betty Wiley, Jane Driscoll, Loretta Paul-Goldin, Jan Doyle and me, will show you techniques including Topaz, textures, LensBaby, landscapes, Lightroom, Photoshop, Luminar, iPhoneography, creative projects with your photos, YouTube publicity and creating your own textures in PS and with alcohol inks. We’ll also have a photo ops room with set ups to photograph, and much, much more!

Go to our website at: https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/ for all the details and to register!

Have a great week!

Sept. 30 – Sunday Sampler

Happy End-of-September! Another busy month flown by! Pulled out most of our veggie garden this morning – sad face! Did leave the grape tomato plant – still producing fruit!

This week’s Sunday Sampler is 4 versions of one texture – a texture I photographed in the restroom at the location of my workshop last weekend in Troy, NY!! I told everyone they needed to take some pics (and I did see a few doing so)! Textures are found EVERYWHERE! This was some great painting techniques on the wall.

#1 is the original with Clarity and Detail; #2 is Topaz Impression Cave Dweller; #3 is Simplify-Buzz Sim Split Toned I; and #4 is #3 with a hue/saturation adjustment to make it green (great for a background on flowers). Enjoy!

 

Released this week – A.I. Gigapixel 2.0!

• Using GPU mode is now 5x faster! With some optimizations to the GPU processing in A.I. Gigapixel, we’ve improved the speed of processing by around 5x on full-size images (it scales based on the size of your image, so a small image might be 3x) with the same 1-2 million calculations per pixel and the same amazing results.

And don’t forget about all the powerful updates from A.I. Gigapixel 1.1 released earlier this month.
• Expanded system compatibility with a CPU mode, which allows more users without a robust GPU to run A.I. Gigapixel on their machine.
• 6 new Artificial Intelligence models for different scaling (200%, 400%, 600%) across three settings for input image quality:
– None – For high-quality images without noise, results in much better detail retention
– Medium: Improved versions of the included enhancement models
– High: For images with lots of noise and artifacts, produces a smoother artifact free enlargement while retaining and enhancing perceived details in the image.
• Resolved issue with not retaining DPI sometimes
• Resolved sizing issue with size not passing through correctly sometimes

Click HERE to check out all the details of the amazing product. Reg. price $99.99 – save 15% when you click on THIS LINK and use the code MeredithImages at checkout.

Here is one of my images that I processed – the original was sized 4″x6″  – I enlarged it 600% to 24″x36″ – the detail is amazing!

You can batch edit, as well as process single shots. One more amazing product from the folks at Topaz Labs!

 

From Creative Bloq – the 29 best iPhone AppsA few of these I have – a few I’ll be checking out!

The gang at Design Cuts is turning 5 this week! This is one of the best companies for bundles of goodies – textures, fonts, clip art and much more! Bundles sell for a reasonable $29 for TONS of great products. They also have a marketplace where you can find individual products. Watch for lots of freebies and special deals during the Birthday Bash!

Their latest bundle is “The Deluxe Textures and Patterns Bundle” – $2321 value for just $29! Check it out HERE!

 

And a couple of new product releases from ThinkTank Photo.

Emergency Camera Rain Covers

With Think Tank Photo’s new Emergency Rain Covers, photographers need no longer be caught off guard by bad weather. The Emergency Rain Covers are a simple, compact solution for protecting photo gear from sudden downpours or dusty conditions. These seam-sealed rain covers can be quickly and easily deployed when outdoor conditions change.

The covers are designed to fit both DSLR and Mirrorless cameras and are available in two sizes to accommodate a range of full-frame lenses. The Emergency Rain Cover – Small protects a 16–35mm f/2.8, a 14–24mm f/2.8, a 24–105mm f/4, or a 24–70mm f/2.8 lens. The Emergency Rain Cover – Medium protects a 24–70mm f/2.8 or a 70–200mm f/2.8 lens.

“When compressed, the Emergency Rain Cover fits into a small pouch, so it’s easy to bring along even if rain is a distant concern,” said Think Tank’s President and Lead Designer Doug Murdoch. “It takes up so little room in your bag, yet could save your gear when a sudden downpour or dust storm hits. Every photographer who shoots outdoors should keep one tucked one away in their camera bag.”

Features include:
• Seam-sealed for extreme protection in downpour or dusty conditions
• Compresses into an included compact carrying pouch
• Oversize window to view your LCD and controls
• Ability to access your camera through one cinchable sleeve
• Mountable to tripod or monopod
• Dual viewing configurations for varying conditions
• Hot-shoe mount keeps cover secured to camera during use
• Non-slip, adjustable strap attaches directly to the lens hood
• DWR coating for an extra layer of protection

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THEIR WEBSITE

AND…

New “Lens Case Duo” Provides Enhanced Camera Lens Protection

Being a photographer is about getting to the right location at the right time — which can often be challenging.  To help photographers protect their lenses from the rigors of travel, Think Tank Photo has just released the Lens Case Duo series of six quick-access, dual-opening padded lens cases.  A zippered lid and side opening is a unique feature compared to other lens cases.

With the Lens Case Duo, photographers can protect their delicate lenses while transporting them in rolling cases, backpacks or shoulder bags.  These cases can then be converted into a modular system for quick access in a bag or on a belt.  A shoulder strap is included for the six larger sizes: Lens Case Duo 5, Lens Case Duo 10, Lens Case Duo 15, and Lens Case Duo 20, Lens Case Duo 30, and Lens Case Duo 40.  Two exterior stretch pockets provide space for a lens cap or a cleaning cloth. Soft zipper protectors and a plush lining protect sensitive and expensive lenses from scratches.  All sizes come in black and green.

“The Lens Case Duo should be used by every photographer concerned about protecting their lenses, especially while in transit,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s President and lead designer.  “While our roller and backpack dividers provide ample protection, the Lens Case Duo provides just that extra protection layer that could help prevent damage in unforeseen circumstances.”

GEAR CAPACITY

  • The Lens Case Duo 5 holds a Canon/Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, Canon: 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6, Canon/Nikon 50mm f/1.4, Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 AF-S, or Olympus: 12-40mm f/2.8, 40-150mm f/4-5.6
  • The Lens Case Duo 10 holds a Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6, Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6, Tamron/Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3, or Sony 16-35mm f/4
  • The Lens Case Duo 15 holds a Canon/Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, Canon/Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6, Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3, Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6, Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Canon/Nikon 24mm f/1.4, Canon/Nikon 35mm f/1.4, Canon/Sony 100mm f/2.8, or Nikon 105mm f/2.8
  • The Lens Case Duo 20 holds a Canon/Nikon/Sony 24-70mm f/2.8, Canon 24-105mm f/4, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Sony 85mm f/1.4, Canon/Sony 100mm f/2.8, or Nikon 105mm f/2.8
  • The Lens Case Duo 30 holds a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8, or Canon 11-24mm f/4
  • The Lens Case Duo 40 holds a Canon/Nikon/Sony 70-200mm f/2.8, Canon/Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6, or Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THEIR WEBSITE

 

Sign-ups have begun for our 3rd Conference, May 18-19, 2019! Our Early Bird pricing is the best deal there will be on this Conference – Now through Nov. 30th! Don’t miss out!

Check out the website for all the details: https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

In next week’s blog, I will begin featuring our fabulous speakers! They will each have a page on the website as well. Stay tuned!

 

 

Sept. 23 – Sunday Sampler

Hi everyone! I missed sending out a post last week as I was in TEXAS! Check off another state from my list. It was hot, hot, hot! Austin & Dallas.

Got to visit my friends at Topaz Labs and meet them in person! Keep reading for some great info!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler is some textures from my hotel rooms! Rugs, wallpaper, tile – they all make great textures! There are six instead of three since I missed last week. Enjoy!

 

Some exciting news that I can share – and some that I can only tease about!

We scheduled my next Topaz Webinar for Tuesday, October 30th – watch for some Halloween-themed projects!

Yes, Heath is a real person! It was wonderful to meet him, Joe, Rose and Alan, the founder of Topaz. Great bunch of people!

A.I. Gigapixel Updated! A great product is even better! It has faster processing, new settings for even better results – it is amazing to watch the programmers in action (with their PhDs!).

STAY TUNED….for a new Studio Release soon with a feature I’ve been hoping for — can’t tell you yet, but you will love as much as I am going to!

 

I will send another post during the week with some other cool things from “Around the Web”. Preparing this on Sat. and heading out to do my all-day workshop tomorrow at PPSNYS in Troy, NY!

Have a great weekend!

Aug. 26 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! Finally, a gorgeous weekend and not humid! Of course this week is a different story (90’s+ and humidity returning), but I’m happy for 2 beautiful days. We had a neighborhood picnic yesterday at our house – so much food left we’re doing lunch again today!!

 

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of brick textures from Fort McHenry in Baltimore. A great place to visit when you’re in the area.

 

CAMERA CLUB SEASON IS ALMOST HERE!

Most camera clubs meet from September through May/June and are busy setting up their schedules for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. I’ve been asked to speak at several clubs already this year, with a couple more pending. If you’re club (or group) is looking for speakers, let me know!

Confirmed at: 

Oct. 25 – Judging at Cape Cod Art Association (MA)

Nov. 4 – Webinar for NPEG “What’s New in Topaz”

Nov. 7 – Southeastern CT Camera Club (CT) – “Topaz & Textures”

Nov. 12 – Charter Oak Photographic Society (CT) – “What’s New in Topaz”

Jan. 2 – Judging at Stamford Camera Club (CT)

Feb. 13 – Milford Camera Club (CT) – “What’s New in Topaz”

March 5 – North Haven Camera Club (CT) – “Advanced Techniques in Lightroom & Photoshop”

April 1 – Greater Lynn Photographic Society (MA) – “Creativity with Textures”

April 6 – Judging at Bronx Photographic Society (NY)

May 18-19 – Creative Photographic Conference, Southbridge, MA

 

From WebDesignDev.com – 350+ Free Handwriting Photoshop Brushes and with the Fall season coming, 20 Creepy Halloween Photoshop Tutorials (VERY creepy!)

On DealJumbo.com they have tons of bundles of textures, fonts, mock-ups and more at very reasonable prices. Check it out HERE!

 

Have a great week!